Construction of the much-awaited New Gwadar International Airport has entered its second phase, as the joint Pakistan and China project pushes towards completion.
The airport is located in Gurandani, some 26 kilometers northeast of the city of Gwadar in Balochistan. Its total cost is $230 million.
“In the second phase a permanent station is being built,” Zhang Baozhong, chairman of the China Oversees Port Holding Company Chairman (COPHC), told Geo.tv, “This will spur up development activities with full speed and momentum.”
Despite the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, construction of the airport did not halt, he added, and the second phase has begun as per schedule.
The project is expected to be completed in three years’ time. After which, Baozhong explained, it would be the second largest airport in Pakistan connecting Gwadar with the rest of the world.
Separately, Lieutenant General (retired) Asim Saleem Bajwa, the chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, also tweeted about the historic developed on May 7.
Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground breaking ceremony of the Gwadar Airport on March 29, 2019. While construction began on October 31, 2019.
Being part of the Early Harvest High Priority Project of CPEC, the airport is free from all loan obligations and debt burden. It is being constructed on grant assistance and is being completely bankrolled by the Chinese government.
Nadir Baloch, a senior officials of the Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), told Geo.tv that in order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity for construction work, the federal government had issued a license to install a 130 KW power plant near the site.
With the ease in lockdown restrictions, especially for the construction industry, following the COVID-19 outbreak, Baloch added, “work on the airport is now in full swing.”